Hernan’s interest in farming began when he was co-director for a recycling and compost company in Texas. His job involved literally transforming barren fields into green space and he took what he learned to start a small urban farm in his backyard. When his wife’s job brought their family to San Diego, they chose to live in the rural countryside, allowing Hernan to take his farming venture to the next level.
“We always wanted to be close to nature, raise our kids in nature, and be self-sufficient through growing our own food,” shared Hernan. “It’s empowering to be able to produce something and provide for others, instead of consuming without participation.”
Hernan launched Solidarity Farms, growing all sorts of seasonal vegetables and selling fresh produce and eggs at the entrance of the farm. He also participates in a community supported agriculture program in which his farm weekly delivers $25 boxes of produce to members of the program. All this ultimately supports Hernan’s vision of building a vibrant food system that primarily supports local producers. Furthermore, Hernan is passionate about helping others consume whole and healthy foods.
“I grew up watching my grandparents grow their food in their farm. They would not eat anything without knowing where it was coming from,” shared Hernan. “They lived long lives, working well into their 70s. That childhood memory inspired my business.”
As the sole farmer on his farm, Hernan is always looking for ways to increase efficiency. He recently expanded his property from 3/4 of an acre to 5 acres and needs a tractor to help him scale up his operations. He will use his $5,000 Kiva loan to purchase a tractor, allowing him to bring his business to the next level.
Hernan’s dream is ultimately to build a thriving farm that produces healthy food for his community and educates others on the value of farming. He shared, “I want to awaken a passion in others to become farmers. What is more gratifying than healing people with food?”
In the picture are Hernan, his wife Lisa, and their three children